I’ve indulged a love affair with food most of my life. As long as I can remember I have proclaimed boldly that, “food is my friend,” regarding it with genuine affection. While I’ve also been quite active, I often felt there was more to my size than just miles on a treadmill.
To that end, I was absolutely thrilled to hear Abraham (of Esther and Jerry Hicks) my long time mentor and inspiration reflect this idea by discussing 2 women having lunch. One woman, eating only a salad was frustrated by her size, while and the other, eating whatever she wanted, wasn’t. The larger woman, Abraham explained, did not struggle with her weight because of something wrong with her body. She struggled because “food was not her friend”, as it was for her slender companion. For me this validated that it is my loving appreciation for food, as much as my workout, that keeps me trim.
When I say I love food, I mean just about all food; fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese, dairy, chips, fast food, candy bars, cakes, cookies… there isn’t much I don’t enjoy. Mexican is my favorite, and more recently I’ve fallen in love with asparagus and avocado’s.
Perhaps because I love it all, I’ve lived by the all-things-in-moderation theory. I don’t eat dessert with every meal or fast food every day, but if I want it I have it and historically any concept that eliminated anything from my diet was not for me. I believe all food has its place and energetically have not viewed any particular food as either good or bad. Instead I have loved, appreciated and eaten most all of it without guilt or remorse.
Contrary to my past behavior though, last summer, after hearing many wonderful claims about this ‘slow carb’ concept, I decided to try it, in spite of it eliminating things I’ve always indulged. I wanted to see what all the chatter was about, and as predicted by simply eliminating processed foods, refined sugars and many carbohydrates from my diet I lost 5 pounds the first 2 weeks.
Most surprising to me though wasn’t the weight loss, but how much better I felt – never realizing I hadn’t been feeling my best to begin with. Following the slow carb plan I had more energy, slept better at night and my blood sugars felt more stable. Without being able to clearly define it, I just felt better. So much so, that I decided to stick with this eating philosophy, in spite of its restrictions.
The first several months had their challenges, but for the most everything felt good. I liked that I was eating rawer, more natural, chemical free food, and how good that food was starting to taste. But about March of this year I noticed something that shocked me; for the first time, food was no longer my friend.
In the last few weeks the 5 original pounds lost had climbed back on board my hips and thighs. Yes, I’d cheated a few times, but to be honest I’d cheated here and there all along – nothing had changed. Or had it?
Pondering all this, I looked down at the small piece of birthday cake I was about to enjoy with coworkers and identified some new and conflicting feelings rolling around inside me. I did not anticipate eating the cake with the loving adoration I once did, but rather with a mixed sense of guilt, shame and insolence.
Why the change? I realized that somewhere along the course of following the slow carb restrictions, I stopped viewing food as my friend (and something to be enjoyed), and began assigning a good/bad value to it, even regarding some things as my enemy. Even though at this point I had consumed far fewer ‘bad’ foods than I ever had before, I was struggling to maintain a thinner weight. This is when the energy shift occurred to me. Instead of celebrating and continuing my love affair with food, I’d slowly adopted a wary attitude toward it, watching cautiously (instead of lovingly) what I ate.
Realizing this liberated me. “Food is not my enemy!” I proclaimed in defiance, resurrecting the memory of the easy relationship we’d once had, and instantly felt a little better.
For the record, I like this slow carb concept. I like how my body feels having made healthy changes. I like that processed foods and refined sugars don’t taste nearly as good to me anymore and that I actually crave natural foods. But carbs and sugars are not the enemy, and neither you nor I are bad for choosing them now and then. The enemy (if there truly is one) is the thoughts and beliefs that lead to guilt, shame and remorse. The enemy is the idea that we even have a food enemy!
This was an important thing for me to remember. All things, all foods have a place in our lives. Even something as toxic and deadly as Arsenic has a role in our bodies, but in the proper amount*. Nothing of itself is truly our enemy and all foods can have a healthy part to play. Our job is to find the right balance, a healthy, moderate and proportionate amount that is right for our body. And then do it guilt free.
If you want to lose weight, have a love affair with food. Love it, celebrate it and appreciate it for what it is; fuel and nutrition for your body. It is not good or bad, but it can be enjoyed and you are allowed to enjoy it.
Thank the food you eat. Love the food you eat, and from this place of appreciation allow whatever you eat to nourish your body. No matter what routine, concept or dietary regimen you follow, let go of the guilt and shame surrounding food.
Food is my friend. If it’s not yet yours, I hope to introduce the two of you soon, for we have had great fun over the years. I know you can too, and once you do, everything will change.
As always it is my goal to uplift, inspire and help others to heal their lives. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this with you. – Kim
*Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance widely distributed in the earth’s crust. It is found in trace amounts in human blood, hair, urine and fingernails. Ingested, it is toxic and can lead to death. DO NOT attempt to ingest arsenic.